Learning preferences and impacts of education programs in dog health programs in five rural and remote indigenous Australian communities
As part of strategies to improve dog and community health in rural and remote Indigenous communities, this study investigated preferences and impacts of dog health education programs. Semistructured interviews with 63 residents from five communities explored learning preferences. Though each community differed, on average yarning was preferred by most (68.4%) respondents, followed by visual (65.0%) and practical learning (46.9%). Text-based and computer/screen-based learning were important to 16.2% and 14.6% of respondents respectively. With paper-based visual and text resources, respondents reported a preference for locally made (28/36 or 78%) over mainstream resources. Twenty eight residents involved in the creation of locally made resources reported satisfaction, knowledge exchange, and displayed enthusiasm for the process. Colour resources were more successful than black and white resources or word of mouth in terms of program advertising, alerting 67% (10/15) of respondents compared to 6% to 24% for programs using word of mouth. Dog health programs that incorporated education programs based on these identified preferences achieved significantly better results in terms of improvements in mange prevalence and average condition score, partly through increased community understanding and engagement with the program. Thus, culturally appropriate and locally relevant education programs can significantly improve the success of dog health programs
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